Lemon Custard Cakes

My husband and I spent the last hours of 2012 perusing newly acquired cookbooks from a local used bookstore. Oh the tasty dishes to come in 2013! One we couldn't wait to make are these lemon custard cakes out of the Food Everyday: Great Food Fast cookbook with recipes from Martha Stewart Living. Recently we spent a weekend up with my in-laws and had the pleasure of picking the sweetest, juiciest lemons you'll ever get your hands on. The smell of freshly picked lemons make me smile.

Servings: 6          Prep: 20 minutes      Total Time: 45 minutes
  • unsalted butter, at room temperature for greasing custard cups (I actually forgot this step)
  • 3 large eggs, separated (didn't have large so used extra large)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used unbleached and probably added a little more than 2 tablespoons to compensate for the extra liquid from the extra large eggs)
  • 2-3 teaspoons grated lemon zest (I used zest from 1 large lemon)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I used the zested large lemon)
  • 1 cup milk (I used soy milk because we don't usually have cow's milk in the fridge)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Set a kettle of water to boil. Butter six 6-ounce custard cups, and place them in a roasting pan or baking dish lined with a kitchen towel. What I did: I used a large Pyrex and boiled water in the microwave right before putting the custards in the oven. I also forgot to butter the cups but I used ramekins, not custard cups and they seemed to come out just fine. No roasting pan, lined a baking dish with a kitchen towel (never tried that trick before but it's supposed to help the water circulate under the cups for even cooking!). 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until the mixture is light; whisk in the flour. Gradually whisk in the lemon zest and juice, then whisk in the milk. 
  3. With an electric mixture, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add to the lemon mixture; gently fold in with a whisk (the batter will be thin). 
  4. Divide the batter among the prepared cups. Place the pan in the oven, and fill with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the puddings are puffed and lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes (mine needed 25-28 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar if desired (we skipped the pretty sugar, let them cool about 5 minutes before digging in). The cakes should be creamy and custardy beneath their golden, cakey tops. 


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